Nottingham Forest made it four wins in a row on Sunday afternoon as they romped to a 5-2 victory over Hull City to end October with a 100% winning record.
A hat-trick from Precious Hamilton and a debut goal from Bolu Fisher saw The Reds go into the break with a comfortable 4-1 lead. Bex Rayner added Forest’s fifth 60 seconds into the second-half and despite The Tigresses clawing back another goal The Reds stayed firm to pick up all three points to move up into fourth in the table.
Andy Cook made 10 changes to his side that cruised to a County Cup victory last weekend as he fielded a more familiar Forest starting 11. Aja Aguirre reclaimed her spot in between the sticks and Olivia Cook was re-joined in defence by Izzy Dalton, Lyndsey Harkin and Georgia Hewitt. Sophie Walton and Sophie Tudor lined back up as the defensive forces in midfield and Rayner was recalled into the fold. Phoebe Warner, Fisher and Hamilton were also all brought back into the starting 11 to lead the side’s attack.
The Reds got off to the perfect start as Hamilton put them ahead after only seven minutes on the clock. Rayner sliced a well-weighted pass through The Tigresses’ defence and onto Hamilton who held off challenges from the recovering defenders and drew the ‘keeper off her line before slotting a low shot into the bottom left-hand corner of goal.
Hamilton doubled Forest’s lead four minutes later as this time she picked up a great pass from Fisher in the box. After leaving the back-line behind Hamilton found herself free inside the penalty box and was given the freedom to calmly drill her shot under the ‘keeper.
Hewitt came marginally close on the 19th minute of extending The Reds’ lead after she picked up a short pass from Walton just inside the area but her curling strong shot was well saved by the Hull ‘keeper.
Hull halved the goal scoring deficit on the 27th mark as the side gave of a warning to The Reds that they were still in with a chance of picking up points in the fixture. Harley Skinner was allowed too much time and space just outside the Forest box and her bouncing shot rolled underneath Aguirre to make it 2-1.
Hamilton became the hat-trick hero in Garibaldi again as she restored The Reds’ two goal lead on the stroke of half-time. To extend her lead at the top of the goal scoring charts to 18 goals, Hamilton fended off her marker inside the six-yard box and with her back to goal the forward cheekily buried her back-heel shot to add her third.
But Forest’s first-half goal scoring rampage wasn’t over as Fisher netted her first for the club three minutes into stoppage time. After a handball from a Hull defender inside the box the referee pointed to the spot and Fisher stepped up to ensure the Reds went into break with a 4-1 lead.
The Reds picked up from where they left off in the second-half as Rayner added Forest’s fifth and final goal of the fixture on the 46th minute. A mistake at the back from the away side saw Rayner steal back the ball in the penalty box before floating a terrific shot over the helpless ‘keeper and into the far-right of the goal.
The Tigresses pulled another goal back on the 59th minute as they forced Forest to battle until the final whistle to collect all three points. Rachael Ackroyd rose the highest at the far-right post to head home a bullet header to bring the score-line to 5-2.
Walton fired up two consecutive shots for The Reds after the hour mark as she came close to netting her first goal in red. The first saw her first-time effort from just inside well saved by the ‘keeper and she was denied by the shot stopper again moments later as she forced her into pushing out her dipping long-range effort for a corner-kick.
Forest continued to test the Hull ‘keeper until the final whistle and Rayner had an opportunity to bag her brace two minutes before the final whistle blew. Rayner carried the ball into the Hull penalty box before firing a close-range shot but a deflection saw her shot unfortunately fly clear of the goal.
But The Reds weren’t made to rue their missed chances as they saw out their 5-2 win to climb up the league rankings.
Forest: Aguirre, Dalton, Harkin (c), Cook, Hewitt (Casper 73’), Walton, Tudor, Rayner, Fisher (Middleton 58’), Warner (Moncaster 85’), Hamilton
Subs not used: Davies, Bennett
Booking: Walton 34’
Goals: Hamilton 7’, 10’, 45’, Fisher 45’, Rayner 46’
Hull: Cooke, Oxley (Pegrum 62’), Hughes (Westmorland 36’), Jackman, Tanser, Symington (c), Ackroyd, Smith, Skinner, Lynskey (Blundell 76’), Wilson
Subs not used: Cone, Frederiksen
Goals: Skinner 27’, Ackroyd 59’